Three Critiques of Cognitive Psychology

(1) lack of ecological validity

Lab experiments are criticized as being too artificial. They don’t mimick real life cognition. Such research doesn’t tell us about cognition in the real world. This is a major concern of Neisser (1976). It doesn’t map how we use cognition in the real world.

(2) lack of study of individual differences

people differ in cognitive abilities. Good vs. Bad memory, imagery, etc. Cognitive researchers have traditionally ignored this possibility. A simplifying assumption, but problematic.

(3) lack of study of affect (emotion) and how it affects cognition

Our cognitive abilities are affected by our emotional state. They are tied together in all sorts of ways. Traditionally not explored by cognitive researchers.

Related articles